Monday, December 29, 2008

Wild & Wooly Weather Enjoyed by the Fire

It has been complete madness as far as the weather is concerned. 30 degree C change in just one week - trading weather from the northwest to the balmy southeast. We've gone from frost painted windows in the early morning - to buckets of rain. Fortunately we still have snow cover, which really adds to the light and my mood on such grey days.I stepped away from the computer for 4 days - checking in just briefly on family and friends. It was a lovely time, with the odd bit of excitement. 2 days before Christmas Kevin and I heard water running outside the shut-off valve to the house. We made sure there was no water running anywhere and then shut off our own water to see if we could hear, as the Regional Water Man said, "The pipes singing - sure sign of a leak." Alas, we did. Next day, I filled up the tub, sinks, etc. with water in anticipation of having the water shut off while they dug through my front lawn to replace the pipes. I was beyond despair as I looked out at my garden realizing how much was going to have to be sacrificed to replace the damn pipe. Mum cheered me with the thought, "Dear, this really is blog-worthy. You'll be able to tell everyone on-line about your chaos." Thank goodness for small mercies. I phoned my sainted sister-in-law who agreed that I couldn't clean the turkey with Handy-Wipes, and that I could bring everything by her place and we'd cook there.

So, with all contingency plans in place we waited. Gerry, the Regional guy showed up, and agreed there was water running somewhere. I was able to help him find the shut-off valve under 3 feet of snow - and also my neighbour's valve - handy under the circumstances, as my shut-off valve is on her property, and mine is on hers. (Can you say lowest bidder?) I called my neighbour as a bit of a joke - she'd heard that spirits of dead dads - if they aren't heeded will start with flickering lights and move along to the water. Hardy-har-har - I said, "Tell your dad to stop messing with the valves - he's got the wrong one."

Well, just then Kevin came home, who just happened to play hockey with Gerry, who said, "Why don't I call my supervisor to see if we can get the tester out here to find out where the leak is..." And, in the middle of a snowstorm, under 3 feet of snow - Mister Tester arrived on schedule and got to work. First thing he noticed, "There's no water running? I don't hear anything.", says Mister Tester. He blasts his gas through the pipes - no leak. He tests the water pressure - just perfect. Gerry comes back and can't believe it. No more singing pipes. A Christmas miracle. I call my sainted sister-in-law to let her know she could stop drinking, we've got everything under control and for whatever reason, my neighbour's dad, my dad, or who knows what or why, all things had reverted to normal and I would be able to have 10 people over for Christmas as planned and would be spending most of the day wrestling with a 26 lb turkey in honour of the day.
And it was a glorious day - the sun shone - bits of snow. The table turned out well - lots of sparkly bits that looked good during the day and under candle light.
Kevin made me and Mum Parsnip Apple soup at lunch before we put George into the oven.

Even had time to just sit and read - by the fire - this is my silver sparkly bits corner.Hercules on the ground - before his doggie cousins arrived.And then, it was all over - turkey dented - lots of left overs, great time with family and friends. Even the squirrels had a great day finding the sunflower blown over for a wonderful seedy feast.
Over the next day or so we had temperatures of 16C overnight - followed by tremendous wind. So sad to see so many of these old fellows lost so quickly. Note - perhaps paving right up to and cutting the roots for the pretty drive, wasn't such a good idea?This is the tree that took out the electricity in the neighbourhood - from what I could see (and as close as I could get) looked like a double trunked maple that lost one side.Made it down to the lake to see if it was as rough as I expected. The light was absolutely bizarre. One moment, everything was full of colour - the next - it was black/white/blue - looked like someone had taken a photo and just coloured the sky. Amazing. Colour gone - colour back....


Frances said...

Wow, wow and triple quadruple wow! What a fantastic story! I am so glad it even had a happy ending too! Those dads, scamps is what they are! How amazing that everything sorted itself. Your table was beautiful and the food sounds delish! So sorry about the loss of that tree too, you are most likely right about the driveway construction, shame on them. Hope you didn't get blown away by that wind! :-) Hercules looks like a present.

Northern Shade said...

How fortunate that the plumbing problem solved itself. It sounded like a bad time to have a big job and a big mess.
Your table setting looks so elegant. How much better to be sitting down to a wonderful holiday meal, than to be knee deep in mud.
Hercules has that 'When will this holiday madness end?' look on his face. Was there a catnip mouse under the tree for him in compensation?
Have a happy (and calmer) New Year.

dana said...

I really like your blog, very interesting ... I added you to my links, congratulations and good 2009

easygardener said...

Dear me you have had exciting times over the holiday season. Snow, falling trees...Thank heavens for the self repairing leak!
I'm glad you had a lovely time. Hercules looks exactly like a cat who knows dogs are coming to visit :-)
Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara, I'm Barbara too, which is why I clicked on your link from Clay and Limestone. Loved your pictures (especially the frosted window) and your writing. So happy for the blessing and/or departure of unhappy spirits and the self-healing pipes. Best wishes for 2009 from NE Alabama.


Barbarapc said...

Frances - isn't it great when everything works out - and so often it does. We were lucky just one large branch of the Eastern White in the backyard - missed the newish Japanese maple by inches - another good thing.
N.S. - we kept Herc's drug input to a minimum during the holidays - I firmly believe he thought the tree was a present just for him.

Dana - thank you - I really enjoy yours as well.

E.G. And, he was easily able to confound them from the moment they walked in the door. Must say - all the animals were very well behaved over the holidays.

Barbara - lovely to hear from another Barbara - especially one from a warm southern clime. Have a very happy 2009!